December 15 - February 2, 2019

Exhibition Text

Opening reception and performance: Saturday January 5th, 2018, 4-6pm 

COOPER COLE is pleased to present Gold Rush, a solo exhibition by Chrysanne Stathacos.

“Mysticism and spirituality have long informed Stathacos’s practice, and her shadowy, elemental depictions of nature in reds, golds, silvers, blacks, and whites lend themselves to a shamanistic reading. In these canvases, altered consciousness becomes a mode of witness and remembrance.”
– Sophie Kovel, Artforum, October 2018

The exhibition includes pivotal historical printed paintings of ivy and marijuana leaves made in the 1990’s, in conversation with recent paintings, and assemblages. A new site-specific installation from The Rose Mirror Mandala series, entitled Alchemical Golden Rose Mandala will occupy the floor of the gallery where Stathacos will conduct performative activities during the course of the exhibition.

Since the 1980’s, Stathacos has created works that conjure a shamanistic and eco-holistic reading. She investigates the spiritual properties inherent in visionary and healing plants, in conjunction with meditation activities. The AIDS crisis had a profound effect on her work, resulting in the use of direct impressions through a range of printmaking techniques using etching presses and silk screens. The impressions from nature were influenced by the works of Yves Klein, Anna Atkins and The Shroud of Turin. The ivy and marijuana leaves used for her 1990’s paintings came from the 12th Street garden apartment near St Vincent’s Hospital NYC and were grown by Jorge Zontal of General Idea. Jorge gave her the leaves to use in her paintings. Ivy, hair, roses and marijuana leaves have been recurrent symbols in her work since that time. As a counterpoint to consumerism, Stathacos has based her work on the natural world, ephemeral, alchemical and environmental concerns. Her use of mirroring and patterning manifest a sense of immediacy with reflections on time passing.

As a Tibetan Buddhist friend noted, “For me the Rose Mandalas symbolise the gradual unfolding of our innate nature. Conversely these mandalas remind us of the inherent impermanence of even the beautiful”. Based on historical circular structures, these installations are created by plucking dozens of roses apart petal by petal that circle large round glass mirrors. During the exhibition the petals are left to dry and they gradually reduce in size, almost disappearing while one’s senses are touched by waves of rose scent inhabiting the space of the work. What remains of the dried-up mandala is blown away as a closing performance on February 2nd at the end of the exhibition.

Chrysanne Stathacos is a multidisciplinary artist of Greek, American and Canadian origin. Her work has encompassed print, textile, performance and conceptual art.Stathacos is heavily involved with and influenced by feminism, Greek Mythology, environment, eastern spirituality and Tibetan Buddhism, all of which inform her current artistic practice. Chrysanne studied fine art at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, USA (1969-1970); at York University, Toronto, Canada (1970-1973). Stathacos has exhibited for over 40 years in museums, galleries and public spaces internationally. Most recently, she created a series of works from her Rose Mirror Mandala Series for exhibitions curated by AA Bronson at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2013); Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg (2015); Grazer Kunstverein, Graz (2015); and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2018). Her latest major work, The Five Mirrors of the World is included in the 2nd edition of The Sculpture Park, The Madhavendra Palace, Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur in December 2018, and will be on view for one year. Solo exhibitions and projects include A Space (1978), Mercer Union (1980), Chromazone (1982), Art Metropole (1995), and Gallery TPW (1997), The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto (1999), all in Toronto, Canada; Creative Time, New York (1997), Participant Inc., New York (2004 and 2017), The Breeder Gallery, Athens (2017) and Situations, New York, (2018). She has been included by numerous institutions in group exhibitions including the ICA, Boston (1993), PS1, New York (1997), Oakville Galleries, Oakville (1999); Yokahama Triennial, Yokohama (2001), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2006), Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2010), and documenta 14, Athens (2017). Stathacos is widely known for her public interactive artworks which include 1-900 Mirror Mirror (1995) and The Wish Machine (1997- 2008). 1-900 Mirror Mirror (1995) was first presented at Andrea Rosen Gallery traveling to Art Metropole and Franklin Furnace. The work was represented at Frieze NY in 2017 by The Breeder, Athens and received attention in Art Newspaper, ID and Wallpaper. Her works are included in public and private collections including the Albright- Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; Art Bank, Ottawa; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. The Chrysanne Stathacos fonds is located in the Archives and Library, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Chrysanne Stathacos currently lives and works between Athens, Greece and Toronto, Canada.

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